WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 2, the Border Reinforcement Act of 2023. H.R. 2 will make great strides toward securing the United States’ southern border with Mexico by resuming construction of the border wall using previously appropriated funds, hiring and training 22,000 new Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) field agents, modernizing and upgrading CBP technology, and providing increased support to local law enforcement through grant programs.
“The humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border is completely out of control,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “When I visited the Tucson Sector this past February, I got an up close and personal look at the challenges our Border Patrol agents face every day. I’m confident that this bill will provide them with the necessary resources to establish a border that is safe and secure.”
“From the record number of fentanyl deaths to rising crime, communities across America are paying the price of this self-inflicted crisis,” continued Congresswoman Kiggans. “But these open border and anti-security policies aren’t just threatening the safety and security of Americans, they are enriching and emboldening cartels, who are making massive profits off the exploitation of vulnerable migrants. Enough is enough. We must put an end to all of this suffering by restoring the rule of law and supporting the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to defend and maintain our borders.”
In addition to the previously stated provisions, H.R. 2 also requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to disclose to Congress and make public all data – including monthly known “gotaway” numbers – before the 7th day of each month. It also returns the use of the CBP One app to its original intent and bars its use for non-commercial purposes, including immigration processing. You can read the full bill text here.
According to CBP data, there have been more than five million encounters at the Southwest border since January 2021; over 1.4 million known ‘gotaways’ since February 2021; 193 individuals on the terrorist watchlist encountered along the Southwest border trying to enter the country between ports of entry from FY 2021 to FY 2023; over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl seized in FY 2023—enough to kill the entire U.S. population over nine and a half times; and over 61,000 individuals with criminal records arrested by CBP attempting to cross the U.S. borders since the beginning of FY 2021.
During her second month of Congress, Congresswoman Kiggans travelled to the southern border alongside Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and freshman Representatives Juan Ciscomani (AR-06), Derrick Van Orden (WI-03), and Lori Chavez-Deremer (OR-05). Recently, Congresswoman Kiggans joined News Nation’s “Morning in America” to discuss the crisis at the southern border and the solutions put forward by the new House majority.